Common Causes of Acne and How to Treat Them

By Bonnke Arunga |
|5 min read

Acne is a very common skin condition. With almost 50 million Americans affected by it annually, this skin condition affects about 85 percent of people aged between 12 and 24. As a result, many people need ways to deal with repeated acne, especially in the chin area. However, treating chin acne takes a lot of discipline and dedication. This article explores why acne occurs and how you can prevent and treat it.

Reasons Why You May Develop Acne

There are many causes of acne. Some of the most common ones are described below.

1. Hormonal Imbalances

During puberty, androgenic hormones increase significantly in both boys and girls. These hormones cause the enlargement of sebaceous and oil glands in the skin, leading to the production of more sebum. These hormonal changes don't just happen during puberty. They are also responsible for chin acne breakouts in pregnant women.

2. Poor Quality Sleep

Stress has been associated with increased acne breakouts. One of the most popular claims is that your level of psychological stress increases by about 14 percent for every sleep-hour that you lose. Poor quality of sleep also causes increased susceptibility to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to an increase in sugar level, hence causing acne formation.

3. Certain Medications

Medications such as those containing testosterone, corticosteroids, and lithium have side effects which include the breakout of pimples on the chin. Birth control pills are known to decrease circulating androgens. Avoid consuming these pills to reduce the chances of having acne.

4. Stress

Dermatologists now agree that the stress hormone called cortisol is associated with increased episodes of acne. Cortisol stimulates excessive oil production from the sebaceous glands, leading to acne.

5. Diet

Studies have shown that those whose diet includes regular consumption of skimmed milk and simple carbohydrate-rich food such as chips, bagels, and bread can cause and even worsen your acne. Some hypotheses posit that chocolate can worsen acne. However, further studies are needed to substantiate these claims.

How To Treat And Prevent Acne On The Chin

Since most of the causes of acne are known, it is possible to prevent them from occurring. Moreover, there are proven treatment strategies that work well to alleviate acne when used diligently. Here are some of the ways to prevent and treat acne.


  • Use salicylic acid products

Salicylic acid products are gentle skin exfoliators. Most of the salicylic exfoliators are potent deep cleansers that remove even the most stubborn deep-seated cystic pimples. They also get rid of excess skin oil and give the skin a smooth feel. If you have dry skin, it is advised that you stick to your normal skin cleanser and use the salicylic cleanser only on the blemish.

  • Take oral medications

Before taking oral medications for acne, you should first consult your doctor. Your doctor will then recommend the appropriate medication for you based on your age, gender, and any underlying medical condition. For instance, your doctor may suggest birth control pills which are known to reduce the levels of circulating androgens. Spironolactone is also a medication similar to testosterone and can help regulate the hormonal levels and reduce oil production. Antibiotics may also be used to target bacteria such as the Propionibacterium, which is usually associated with acne.

  • Avoid touching the acne area

Generally, touching your face is not recommended because your hands contain thousands of microbial colonies, chemicals, or dirt. Constant touching of your chin may induce an inflammatory response and introduce bacteria, which will then worsen acne breakouts on your chin. Besides avoiding the urge to touch the acne area, make it a habit to keep your hands clean at all times.


  • Keep your cellphone clean

Phones are known to transfer dirt that could potentially clog the pores in your skin. Your phone may also harbor bacteria that could predispose you to acne. Dermatologists now recommend that you should cultivate the habit of keeping your cellphones clean regularly by rubbing alcohol or an equivalent solvent. There are also devices such as PhoneSoap that rely on ultraviolet light to sanitize phones.

  • Get good sleep

Inadequate sleep causes acne because it worsens psychological stress, leading to an increase in cortisol – the hormone that causes increased oil production in the skin. Prioritizing good sleep will help you prevent acne and may also be therapeutic when treating breakouts of acne on the chin.

  • Don't be too stressed

Stress acne is quite common and occurs in susceptible people when they get overexcited or extremely sad about life situations. The best way to prevent this type of acne is by avoiding stress as much as possible. While stress is part of our everyday lives, engaging in stress-relieving activities such as catching up with friends, sleeping, involving yourself in physical activity, or just talking to someone can help you avoid stress and prevent stress acne.

  • Wash your face regularly

Washing your face regularly cleans off the dirt and excess oil that may clog your skin pores. It also prevents colonization by acne-causing bacteria. On average, you should wash your face at least twice daily – when you wake up and when you retreat to bed at night. However, you can decide on your preferred face cleaning regimen.


Acne breakouts are quite common, especially during puberty, pregnancy and when you are off long-term medication. With the correct practices and strategies, you will not only treat the acne on your chin but also prevent them from occurring. Here is a short video that provides additional information on how to manage acne breakouts on the chin.

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